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Sharpe, Wayne G., 1915-1991

Wayne G. Sharpe Papers
1943-1944
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 462

Wayne G. Sharpe was a secretary for Company A in the 1874th Engineers Aviation Battalion of the Army Air Corps and a middle-class family man from Belmont, Massachusetts. Enlisted in February of 1943 at the age of twenty-seven, Wayne left his wife and infant son for a year’s training at home before his Battalion was dispatched to New Guinea in late December. Flown to a hospital on the island in late April 1944, he returned to the United States in August.

The papers of Wayne G. Sharpe, Sr. are primarily made up of his letters and V-mails home during his training and service abroad, but also include his wife’s letters to him from April 1943-August 1944.

Subjects
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Sharpe, Wayne G., 1915-1991

Soler, José A.

José A. Soler Papers
1972-2014
20 boxes (26.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 864
Image of José Soler (center) at District 65 rally
José Soler (center) at District 65 rally

A scholar of labor studies and activist, José Soler was born in New York City to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father and has been an activist in the cause of Puerto Rican independence and human rights since the 1970s. While a student at the University of New Mexico (BA 1972), Soler emerged as a leader in the Chicano rights organization, the Brown Berets, and while living in Puerto Rico in the late 1970s, he joined the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Soler has subsequently worked in the labor movement as a shop steward, union organizer with UAW District 65, and labor journalist. As a committed Marxist and prolific writer and editor, he has taken part in causes ranging from anti-imperialist work in the Caribbean and Central America to the anti-apartheid struggle, and he has served on the Executive Board of the US Peace Council. From 1993 until his retirement in 2015, Soler worked as Director of the Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center at UMass Dartmouth where he has continued to work on behalf of public education and human rights and national self-determination.

The Soler Papers chronicle over forty years of a life-long activist’s interests and participation in left-wing political, labor, and social justice movements. There is a particular focus on topics relating to socialism and the pro-independence movement in Puerto Rico, anti-imperialist movements in South and Central America and Africa, and issues affecting Puerto Rican and Hispanic workers in the United States, New England, and the New York City area. Published and promotional materials such as periodicals, magazines, newsletters, and pamphlets make up the bulk of the collection, with extensive coverage of the concerns of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño, PSP), the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), as well as New Jersey chapters of the unions Communications Workers of America (CWA) and District 65, which eventually joined the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). An additional seven boxes were added to the collection in June 2016, which remain unprocessed. The new materials offer additional documentation from the Dubin Labor Education Center and Soler’s work and interests in education (testing, privatization, and unions), labor, Marxist-Leninism, and various events in the United States and Latin America.

Gift of Jose Soler, 2015, 2016
Subjects
  • Communications Workers of America
  • Labor unions--New York (State)--New York
  • Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño
  • United Automobile, Aircraft, and Vehicle Workers of America. District 65
Types of material
  • Photographs

Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers

Independent Film and Video Monthly Collection
1975-2006
28 boxes (42 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 771

Begun in 1978 by the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, The Independent is a leading source of information for independent, grassroots, and activist media-makers. Published monthly, The Independent carries articles and criticism on documentary and independent films and fulfills an important role in providing inspiration and connections for the independent media community. Although the AIVF shut its doors in July 2006, suspending print publication of The Independent, Independent Media Publications acquired the rights to the publications and archives of The Independent Film & Video Monthly in 2007 and will continue the journal online.

In addition to a nearly complete run of The Independent, now fully digitized, the collection contains the surviving editorial and production records for the journal.

Subjects
  • Documentary films--Periodicals
  • Experimental films--Periodicals
Contributors
  • Association of Independent Video and Filmakers
  • Foundation for Independent Video and Film (U.S.)

Geisler, Bruce

Bruce Geisler Collection
1969-1984
14 boxes (21 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 049
Image of Renaissance Community, ca.1974
Renaissance Community, ca.1974

In the early 1970s, the documentary filmmaker Bruce Geisler dropped out of Pomona College one semester short of graduation, drove across country, and joined the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, then the largest commune in the eastern United States. During his four years living with the Brotherhood, later renamed the Renaissance Community, Geisler learned the craft of filmmaking, before returning west to earn an MFA at the film school of the University of Southern California. Geisler has received a number of awards as a screenwriter and filmmaker including the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay from Worldfest Houston and the Dominique Dunne Memorial Prize for Filmmaking, and, in 2007, he released his feature-length documentary, Free Spirits, about the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community and its ill-fated founder, Michael Metelica Rapunzel. Geisler is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UMass Amherst Department of Communication.

Documenting everyday life in a Massachusetts commune and performances by the commune bands (Spirit in Flesh and Rapunzel), the Geisler collection was assembled in conjunction with the making of the film Free Spirits. In addition to many hours of both raw and edited film footage taken by members of the Brotherhood of the Brotherhood of the Spirit and Renaissance Community, the collection includes a rich assemblage of still photographs, ephemera, and newspaper clippings relating to the commune.

Subjects
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Renaissance Community (Commune)
Contributors
  • Geisler, Bruce
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Videotapes

Green Mountain Post Films

Green Mountain Post Films Records
1968-ca.1985
10 boxes (13 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 516

Co-founded by Charles Light and Daniel Keller, Green Mountain Post Films has produced and distributed films for more than twenty-five years. Their first documentary film released in 1975, Lovejoy’s Nuclear War, was one of the first films to question the nuclear energy policy of the United States. Since then GMP Films has continued to produce movies that explore social issues, and their films have been used as educational and organizational tools for activists working on peace, veteran, nuclear, environmental and other related issues.

The collection contains very little that documents the activities of GMP Films, chiefly research files, correspondence, and proposals relating to film projects either produced or under consideration. The bulk of the collection consists of alternative press publications from the 1960s-1970s.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Nuclear energy--Law and legislation--New England
  • Social action--Massachusetts--History
Contributors
  • Green Mountain Post Films

Haley, Michael

Michael Haley Papers
1968-2003
18 boxes (27 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 670
Image of Mike Haley
Mike Haley

An actor and motion picture assistant director and producer, Michael Haley was born in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1942. While an undergraduate student at UMass Amherst, Haley became involved in theater, joining the avant garde Buffalo Meat Company that performed original works in Massachusetts and New York City. Following a chance call from a producer looking for local help in 1969, Haley worked on his first film, the low-budget crime drama, Honeymoon Killers. After work on several other film and television productions, Haley was among ten people selected for the Directors Guild of America’s Assistant Directors Training Program. During his forty year career, Haley’s credits have included work with a number of noted directors, including Sidney Lumet, Barry Levinson, and Penny Marshall, and he has enjoyed a particularly long and productive association with Mike Nichols. His films have included The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Stepford Wives, Biloxi Blues, True Colors, A League of Their Own, Groundhog Day, Primary Colors, and Closer. He was the recipient of two Humanitas Prizes (for Wit and Angels in America), and among others awards, the Christopher Award (for Wit), the Directors Guild of America award, Producers Guild of America award, and an Emmy (for Angels in America), a Directors Guild of America plaque (Working Girl), and the Berkshire International Film Festival Life-Time Achievement Award. He was named Artist of the Year at UMass and has been selected for a Bateman Fellowship.

Reflecting a diverse career in film, the Haley collection consists of scripts, photographs, memorabilia, and diaries, with a small quantity of notes and correspondence. The scripts, approximately 110 of them, are from films ranging from the Godfather II to Charlie Wilson’s War and Angels in America, may include several drafts. The photographs are both numerous and particularly rich, including some particularly interesting candid shots taken on film sets, as well as official shots taken by photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark.

Subjects
  • Actors
  • Motion picture producers and directors
  • Motion pictures
  • Nichols, Mike
Contributors
  • Haley, Michael
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Screenplays

Kraner, Doug

Doug Kraner Collection
1978-2014
3 boxes, 7 tubes (4 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 942
Image of Doug Kraner (right)<br />Photo By <a href='http://www.mylesaronowitz.com/'>Myles Aronowitz</a>
Doug Kraner (right)
Photo By Myles Aronowitz

With an MFA in theater from UMass Amherst (1979), Doug Kraner built a career of thirty five years that grew from scenic design for the stage into production design for feature films and television. After his time in Amherst, Kraner taught at SUNY Stonybrook and worked on and off-Broadway, but by 1981, he moved to Hollywood and began a film career as set decorator for My Dinner With Andre (1981). Among dozens of credits as art director or production designer, Kraner worked on commercially successful films such as Uncle Buck, Lean on Me, Sleeping with the Enemy (which was the start of a long and productive working relationship with the director Danny Cannon), Extreme Measures, and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. He received an Emmy nomination in 1983 for Little Gloria… Happy at Last, and in his work on the television show Gotham in 2014-2015 earned both Emmy and Art Directors Guild Award nominations. After a lengthy struggle with cancer, Kraner died on April 4, 2016.

Organized project by project, the Kraner collection includes a cross-section of work from a production designer in the film and television industries from the 1980s to 2010s. Although the depth of coverage and contents vary from film to film, the files may contain anything from rough concept sketches to finished designs, photographs of three-dimensional models, and schematics for the construction of sets, and in the aggregate, the work documents the transition from paper-based to purely digital production techniques. Kraner retained a small number of sketches from his time as a graduate student at UMass Amherst, two sketchbooks, and a portfolio of his work for film.

Gift of Ron Duby, Sept. 2016

National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Collection
1965-2016
5 boxes (7.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 686
Image of

Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

In contributing to the National Arts Policy Archive and Library (NAPAAL), the NEA allowed SCUA to digitize publications on the arts and arts management since its inception. The collection reflects the impact of the arts (including music, literature, and the performing arts) on everyday lives of Americans and include materials intended to support individual and classroom education, information on arts management, reports on the status of the arts, histories of the organization, and much more. All items are cataloged in the UMass Amherst Libraries online catalog and are included in the Internet Archive, where they are available for full-text searching.

Subjects
  • Art and State
  • Arts--Management
  • Government aid to the arts

Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007

Ulrich Plenzdorf Collection
1970-1979
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 978

An East German screenwriter and playwright, Ulrich Plenzdorf was born into a Communist family in the working-class Kreuzberg district of Berlin in 1934, settling in East Germany after the war. Abandoning his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Leipzig, Plenzdorf worked as a stagehand at the DEFA film studio while studying at the film academy in Babelsberg. His breakthrough as a writer came with the play Die neuen Leiden des jungen W (1972), which enjoyed enormous success internationally, selling more than four million copies in 30 languages. A year later, he followed up with the popular film, Die Legende von Paul und Paula (1973), and his popularity as a writer continued through unification. Plenzdorf died in Berlin on Aug. 9, 2007, at the age of 72.

This small collection includes research files on the screenwriter Ulrich Plenzdorf assembled by Albert R. Schmitt, a professor of German at Brown University. In addition to an early edition of Die neuen Leiden and a mimeograph copy of an English translation by Herbert Lederer, the collection includes a handful of letters and a few pieces of ephemera from early productions of Die neuen Leiden, along with reviews and scholarly articles of Plenzdorf’s work.

Gift of Barton Byg, June 2017
Language(s): German
Subjects
  • Dramatists--Germany (East)
  • Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007. Neuen Leiden des jungen W.
  • Screenwriters--Germany (East)
Contributors
  • Schmitt, Albert R.
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Posters

Ravett, Abraham

Abraham Ravett Collection
1977-1979
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 890

The independent filmmaker Abraham Ravett has taught film and video at Hampshire College since 1979. Born in Poland in 1947 and raised in Israel, Ravett emigrated to the United States with his family in 1955. Since earning his BFA and MFA in Filmmaking and Photography, he has won wide recognition for his work, receiving major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, among other organizations, and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His films have been screened internationally and have earned Top Prize at the Viennale 2000, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Onion City Film/Video Festival.

This small collection contains raw footage on open-reel videotape shot by Ravett and two dvds documenting local communities in eastern Massachusetts: the North End, Boston (1977-1978) and Haverhill High School (1978-1979), the latter taken while artist in residence.

Gift of Abraham Ravett, Mar. 2011
Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Haverhill (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • North End (Boston, Mass.)--Social life and customs
Types of material
  • Videotapes
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